|Publication number||US4673932 A|
|Application number||US 06/566,534|
|Publication date||Jun 16, 1987|
|Filing date||Dec 29, 1983|
|Priority date||Dec 29, 1983|
|Also published as||CA1251273A1, CA1277748C2, DE3447599A1|
|Publication number||06566534, 566534, US 4673932 A, US 4673932A, US-A-4673932, US4673932 A, US4673932A|
|Inventors||Jack A. Ekchian, Robert W. Hoffman, Leon Ekchian, Kaigham J. Gabriel|
|Original Assignee||Revlon, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (143), Classifications (21), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates generally to inventory control and more particularly to automatic shelf inventory data systems.
The availability of inventory technology coupled with the sales downturn and increased operating costs of recent recessionary periods have combined to force retailers to meet competitors' aggressive pricing by using more stringent inventory control techniques. The hidden costs associated with excess inventory or overstocking in the competitive retail industry are critically important. Large retailers estimate that the true cost of carrying inventory is on the order of 40% of the cost of the item per year. Moreover, the more inventory, the more manpower is required for inventory control. Most importantly to the retail food and drug trade, however, overstocking results in inflexible pricing. In many stores, electronic cash registers at the checkout counters have been replaced by computerized point of sale terminals. Optical scanners and bar codes on products, while posing other problems, allow flexible pricing and computerized real time inventory control and automated stock ordering. All in all, the various types of material requirement planning systems available today throughout the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors have become a indispensable tool of cost control.
Establishing precise control over retail inventory, however, requires more than reading bar codes at the checkout counter. In order to be purchased, products have to not only be ordered but delivered, uncrated, unboxed, marked and moved from the stock room onto the shelves or peg racks in the retail store. Even overstocked items will fail to reach the checkout counter unless they are on the shelf.
Taking inventory for reordering or restocking of shelves is time consuming but essential, particularly where individual stores such as discount drug stores, stock thousands of shelf items. Shelf stock-taking should be fast and inexpensive to encourage daily adjustments. However, today shelf inventory taken by visual inspection often requires manipulation of individual products hung eight deep on a peg rack. Bar codes are of little use on the shelf since they are usually hidden from view and in any event must be individually scanned. Ironically, the optical techniques which are so efficient at the checkout counter are ill adapted for inventorying shelf goods.
Accordingly, the general purpose of the invention is to automatically inventory shelf goods without individual scanning or manipulation.
A corollary object of the invention is to produce an inventory of individual products by stock keeping unit (SKU) by collectively, remotely and automatically ascertaining the quantity of products for a series of SKU's comingled on a given shopping aisle.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved by tagging each product with a tiny passive resonant transponder, preferably in the form of a printed circuit small enough to be attached unobtrusively to a lipstick, and employing a computerized transceiver, preferably mounted on a wheeled cart, to repeatedly sweep through a set of transmit/receive frequencies to interrogate collectively all the products belonging to specific SKU's arranged on a peg rack, for example. The data returned during interrogation at each SKU-specific frequency set is stored and combined mathematically by the computer to arrive at the total number of products in each of the interrogated SKU's for a given stocking area in a drug store or supermarket, for example.
In the preferred embodiment, the mobile transceiver transmits at a pair of frequencies specific to a given SKU. Products of that SKU are equipped with tags which resonate at the unique pair of frequencies and reradiate simultaneously a third frequency to which the receiver portion of the transceiver is tuned. The amplitude of the third frequency detected by the receiver is a function of distance, receiver antenna pattern and the number of tag products present on the shelf or peg rack of the particular SKU. As the transceiver moves down the aisle, the transceiver, preferably under software control, sweeps through the plurality of SKU specific transmit/receive frequency sets.
In the preferred embodiment, the frequencies are derived from a master crystal oscillator and tuned in phase-locked loop frequency synthesizing circuits so that they will track precisely the nominal SKU frequency sets.
The preferred form of the tag itself is a circular printed circuit having three sets of two interleaved, coaxial, spiral conductive arms providing three tuned circuits. Each pair of arms can be cut to length corresponding to a frequency. The arm pairs are nonlinearly, mutually capacitively and inductively coupled so that upon excitation at transmit frequencies, the tag emits a third frequency which is a function (preferably the sum) of the first two frequencies.
FIG. 1 is a pictorial perspective view of the transceiver cart in a shopping aisle according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of the transceiver interrogating a tagged product according to the invention.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a printed circuit tag according to the invention.
FIG. 4 is an electrical schematic drawing representing an idealized equivalent circuit for the tag of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the transceiver according to the invention.
FIG. 6 is a block diagram of one of the phase-locked loops of the transceiver of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an alternate embodiment of a portion of the transmitter circuitry.
FIG. 8 is a block diagram of an alternate embodiment of a portion of the receiver circuitry.
FIG. 9 is a schematic representation of a retail pegboard rack from the front displaying products of a specific SKU as dots.
FIG. 10 is a histogram representing the quantity of products in each incremental unit of distance along the peg rack.
FIG. 11 is a graph showing the radiated signal pattern as a function of displacement along the peg rack.
FIG. 12 is a three-dimensional graph of the radiated signal pattern as a function of displacement along the peg rack and the product's elevation above the floor.
FIG. 13 is a graph of the received energy from plural tags as a function of displacement along the peg rack.
As shown in FIG. 1, the interrogation system is mounted on a cart 10 which can be wheeled down an aisle in a retail store alongside a pegboard type display rack 12 bearing products which are to be inventoried. As shown in FIG. 2, the transceiver 14 under the control of the microcomputer 16 transmits a pair of frequencies F1 and F2 corresponding to a given SKU. A packaged product 20 of the SKU being interrogated is equipped with a specially designed printed circuit tag 22 which is resonant at the transmitted frequencies and simultaneously reradiates a third frequency signal F3 which is picked up by the antenna 18 and received in the transceiver 14. The strength of the return at F3 is measured and stored as the cart 10 rolls along the display rack 12 and the stored data is processed by an on-board programmed microcomputer 16 to produce a numerical display 24 of the total number of units in the given SKU corresponding to the frequency set F1, F2, and F3. As the cart is wheeled down the aisle, the microprocessor controls the transmitter in the transceiver 14 to sweep stepwise through all of the pertinent SKU's entered via the keyboard 26 (FIG. 1). The resulting numerical quantities of products in each designated SKU are printed out on command at the end of the aisle or when the shelf inventory for the entire store is completed. As an aid in processing the return signal strength, the cart 10 is equipped with an odometer 30 which keeps track of displacement in the X direction along the length of the peg rack and a sonar ranging device 32 for keeping track of the distance of the cart 10 from the peg rack 12.
As shown in FIG. 3, each product tag 22 comprises six coaxial interleaved conductive arms 34, 36, 38, 40, 42 and 44 mounted on a flexible nonconductive substrate 46. The arms themselves are made of etched copper foil in the manner of a printed circuit. The inner ends of the arms are connected to an array of six spaced terminals, while the outer ends are trimmed to length. The interwoven spiral arms are paired in such a manner that there is a pair corresponding to F1, another pair corresponding to F2, and a third pair corresponding to F3. Each pair is tuned to the corresponding frequency by trimming the length of the corresponding arms. The respective pairs are nonlinearly mutually capacitively and inductively coupled so that upon excitation at frequencies F1 and F2, the tag emits a third frequency F3 which is the sum of the frequencies of F1 and F2. By assigning uniquely cut tags to each SKU, all of the products on the shelf can be differentiated by their frequency response. The nonlinear capacitance effect is equivalent to a mild piezoelectric effect and is designed to be essentially nondirectional so that the response will be independent of the products attitude or orientation on the shelf. The tag is intended in the preferred embodiment to be about the size of a fingernail, approximately 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch in diameter and can be concealed in the packaging itself since it is unnecessary to optically scan the tag. Moreover, the tag can be bent or wrapped, e.g., around a lipstick, without noticeable effect on the function.
The equivalent circuit shown in FIG. 4 illustrates the nonlinear mutual coupling capacitors between the spiral arms. The needed capacitance provided through the proximity of the antenna elements in the tag can be enhanced by the use of a solid sheet conductor on the other side of the nonconductive substrate 46. The coaxial resonator tag system is a completely passive transponder in the sense that the only energy which it consumes is that which it receives from the transmitter on the cart.
The transceiver 14 consists of three major portions: the transmitter, receiver and the microcomputer 16 which controls the system. In the transmitter, two precise frequencies are generated under computer command by phase-locked frequency synthesis. The two frequencies are radiated to the SKU-specific tags which act as radio frequency resonators and transponders. A particular tag will reradiate a frequency equal to the sum of the transmitted frequencies if the transmitted frequencies are the particular ones that the tag is tuned to. If the tag is not tuned to the transmitted frequencies, it will not return a signal. The receiver section is instructed by the microcomputer to "listen" for the sum frequency corresponding to the two transmitted frequencies. The receiver is tuned by means of another phase-locked synthesizer. The computer sequences the synthesizers through each selected set of frequencies.
In the transceiver circuit of FIG. 5, the 1 MHz output of a crystal oscillator 50 is divided by 200 in counter circuit 52. The resulting 5 KHz reference signal is fed in parallel to three phase-locked loops 54, 56 and 58 corresponding to frequencies F1, F2 and F3, respectively. Each phase-locked loop is implemented as shown in FIG. 6. The 5 KHz reference signal forms one input to a phase comparator 60 whose output is fed via a charge pump 62, phase compensation circuit 64 and amplifier 66 to the control input of a voltage controlled oscillator 68. The output of the oscillator 68 is a continuous wave signal which is fed via the power amplifier 70 to coaxial output cable 72. The output of the voltage controlled oscillator 68 also forms the input to a feedback loop comprising buffer amplifier 74, a frequency halving circuit 76 and a divide by N circuit 78. The divided down output of the phase-locked loop circuit forms the other input to the phase comparator 60. The value of N is determined by the microcomputer via a suitable interface chip 80 in order to select the specific value for frequency F1, F2 or F3 associated with each SKU.
As shown in FIG. 5, the output of two of the phase-locked loops are in nonoverlapping respective ranges 20-24 MHz and 25-29 MHz. These outputs are combined in a summation circuit 82 and amplitude modulated in modulator 84 by a 1,000 Hz square wave derived from the 5 KHz reference signal via divider circuit 86. The amplitude modulated sum of signals F1 and F2 is fed via RF amplifier 87 and diplexer circuit 88 to antenna 18. The other side of the diplexer 88 feeds the received signal via another RF amplifier 89 through a 43-53 MHz bandpass filter 90 to a first mixer 92 which sums the received signal minus higher and lower frequency noise with the unmodulated F3 output of phase-lock loop circuit 58 which serves as a local oscillator. Mixer 92 produces a 10.7 MHz output signal which is amplified in IF amplifier 94 and passed to a second mixer 96 which mixes the first IF output with the output of a 10.245 MHz crystal oscillator 98. The output of mixer 96 is fed via a 455 KHz IF amplifier 100 to a synchronous demodulator 102 which demodulates the received signal with the benefit of the 1,000 Hz modulation signal. The demodulated received signal is fed via analog-to-digital converter 104 (preferably 12-bit) back to the microcomputer 16 for processing.
A variation on the transmit circuit of FIG. 5 is shown in FIG. 7 in which the frequencies F1 and F2 are kept entirely separate. In experiments with a circuit constructed according to FIG. 5, it was discovered that third order intermodulation distortion of the output amplifier was high enough that simple filtering left the harmonic sum of F1 and F2 at a higher strength than the received reradiated signal from the tags. This problem is addressed in FIG. 7 by providing separate modulators 110 and 112, RF amplifiers 114 and 116, filters 118 and 120 and separate transmit antennas 122 and 124. Filters 118 and 120 should be carefully designed to eliminate mixing of the other frequency at the output of either amplifier 114 or 116.
An alternate design for a portion of the receiver is shown in FIG. 8. A separate receive antenna 126 is used and after RF amplifier 89, the bandpass filter 90 is replaced by an varactor-tuned dual helical filter 128 which is controlled by the microcomputer via a digital-to-analog converter 130. The filter 128 can be approximately tuned to the desired received frequency to exclude unwanted interference.
Antennas used in the designs of FIGS. 5, 7 and 8 are center-loaded, short, vertical dipole whip antennas. Common practice is to make such antennas one-quarter wave length in length. However, at 30 MHz, this results in an impractically long antenna. Thus, the efficiency of the antenna is sacrificed to reduce its length. At higher frequencies more suitable for use with the tag design of FIG. 3, a more efficient antenna design will become practical. The vertical whip-type antenna, which exhibits linear polarization may be effectively replaced by a circular-polarized design to minimize variations in signal strength due to tag orientation.
With reference to FIG. 9, assume that the pegboard rack has a number of products of the same SKU distributed as indicated by the dots. Displacement of the interrogation cart 10 (FIG. 1) in the X direction is indicated by the arrow marked X.
The histogram in FIG. 10 represents the exact quantity of products in any incremental slot delta X. This function is designated V(x) where V represents the specific number of products at any given location along the x axis. A single radiating tag, for example, tag 22 in FIG. 9 produces a radiated field with an intensity which exhibits an exponential distribution over the x axis as shown in the graph of FIG. 11, H(x) representing the signal strength. Signal strength is also, of course, a function of displacement in the vertical direction from the radiating tag 22, however, as shown in the graph of FIG. 12, the slight variation can be safely ignored in most instances.
If the cart 10 were rolled along direction x from right to left in FIG. 9, transmitting at the combination of frequencies F1 and F2 uniquely assigned to this particular SKU identified by the dots, the strength of the received signal would be distributed over the x axis as shown in the graph of E(x) in FIG. 13.
Due to the overlap produced by the finite width of the radiated signals, the waveform in FIG. 13 does not duplicate the histogram of FIG. 10. Since the desired quantity, the inventory, consists of a sum and does not require reconstructing the exact shape of the waveform as received, the microcomputer 16 is programmed to perform a numerical integration of the area under the curve of the graph of FIG. 13.
Assume that E(delta xi) is proportional to m, where m is the total number of products in the ith delta x slot. E, a function of x, is generally the convolution of the distribution function V(x) convolved with the radiated signal pattern function H(x) as given by the Equation 1.
E(x)=V(x) * H(x) (1)
Applying Fourier transforms to equation 1 results in Equation 2,
which, when solved for the actual distribution function as a function of the frequency ν, results in the following equation (Equation 3). ##EQU1## Thus, the actual distribution function is a ratio between the reconstructed pattern as measured and the transformed radiated signal pattern. The total number of products on the shelf T is (Equation 4).
Equation 4 can also be represented as the Fourier transform of the distribution function evaluated where frequency equals 0. ##EQU2## Substituting the ratio of Equation 3 and replacing the Fourier transformed ratios with plain integrals of the untransformed distribution functions results in Equation 6. ##EQU3## Since a complete reconstruction of the distribution pattern is unnecessary as only the total number of products is desired, the Fourier transforms may be replaced by a simple running integral of the observed waveforms. ##EQU4##
Thus, the ratio shown in Equation 7 is sufficient to produce the total number of products on the shelf as measured during a walk-down of the shelf. Hence, a simple numerical integration can be performed on the received data by the microcomputer 16 contained in the transceiver unit to produce the readout shown in FIG. 2 of the quantity of a particular SKU on the shelf.
The numerator of Equation 7 is a running numerical integration; the denominator is a measured system constant related to the signal pattern radiated by each tag. The running integration is best performed by a separate mathematical processor such as the Intel 8087 used as a coprocessor in conjunction with a main controller microprocessor such as the Intel 8086.
Since each product responds to a unique combination of frequencies F1 and F2, the microprocessor must be fast enough to sweep through all possible combinations so that for a given minimum interproduct spacing delta x, each such delta x is sampled at least once for each SKU specific frequency set. The response at F3 is processed by numerical integration providing a running sum for each product on the rack.
The advantages of the above described automatic shelf inventory system are be readily apparent. Radio frequency interrogation of comingled tagged products on a rack eliminates hand counting, visual inspection of thousands of SKU's in a given retail store. The ability to establish precise control over the shelf inventory assures optimized inventory flow from the stockroom to the checkout counter. The retailer's profits are increased by eliminating inadvertent stock-out conditions. Moreover, the system is so fast and potentially inexpensive that it can be used on a daily basis to track shelf inventory trends and make adjustments to inventory.
The unique tag of the present invention can be mass-produced by printed circuit techniques and can be made small enough to be invisibly incorporated in the packaging of even the smallest shelf items. The novel mobile interrogator enables an unskilled operator to completely inventory the shelf stock in a retail store without counting a single SKU. Thus, human error is eliminated. The appropriate SKU numbers can be entered for a given aisle by preloading the computer memory with the SKU's which are normally stocked on a particular rack. Thus, the operator would only have to enter the rack number. Alternatively, given sufficient computer speed and settling time for the transceiver, all of the store's SKU's could be interrogated on each walk-down of each rack. Because the frequencies are all derived from a single master crystal oscillator, any drift would be experienced on all three frequencies simultaneously and the effect will be minimized.
The foregoing description of the presently preferred embodiments is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive. Many variations and modifications of the overall system or individual components are possible, still employing the underlying principle of the invention, without departing from the scope of the invention as indicated by the appended claims and equivalents thereto.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3246245 *||Jun 5, 1961||Apr 12, 1966||Turner Edwin M||Combined antenna and converter circuit|
|US3671721 *||Dec 12, 1969||Jun 20, 1972||Revenue Systems Ltd||Data reading systems|
|US3707711 *||Apr 2, 1970||Dec 26, 1972||Peter Harold Cole||Electronic surveillance system|
|US3714566 *||Sep 2, 1970||Jan 30, 1973||Bunker Ramo||Apparatus and methods for deriving in essentially real time continuous electrical representations of the fourier and inverse fourier transform|
|US3731273 *||Nov 26, 1971||May 1, 1973||W Hunt||Position locating systems|
|US3752960 *||Dec 27, 1971||Aug 14, 1973||C Walton||Electronic identification & recognition system|
|US3780368 *||Feb 19, 1971||Dec 18, 1973||Svejsecentralen||Method of marking and subsequently localizing, identifying and recording physical objects|
|US3816708 *||May 25, 1973||Jun 11, 1974||Proximity Devices||Electronic recognition and identification system|
|US3842246 *||Sep 27, 1973||Oct 15, 1974||Proximity Devices||Recognition and identification system with noise rejection capabilities|
|US4021705 *||Mar 24, 1975||May 3, 1977||Lichtblau G J||Resonant tag circuits having one or more fusible links|
|US4087821 *||Jul 14, 1976||May 2, 1978||Harris Corporation||Polarization controllable lens|
|US4160971 *||Apr 29, 1976||Jul 10, 1979||National Research Development Corporation||Transponders|
|US4308530 *||May 10, 1978||Dec 29, 1981||N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap||Detection system forming wide gates with superior spatial selectivity|
|US4319248 *||Jan 14, 1980||Mar 9, 1982||American Electronic Laboratories, Inc.||Integrated spiral antenna-detector device|
|US4364043 *||Sep 8, 1981||Dec 14, 1982||The University Of Adelaide||Efficient object identification system|
|US4369557 *||Aug 6, 1980||Jan 25, 1983||Jan Vandebult||Process for fabricating resonant tag circuit constructions|
|US4387379 *||Oct 14, 1980||Jun 7, 1983||Raytheon Company||Radio frequency antenna|
|US4471345 *||Mar 5, 1982||Sep 11, 1984||Sensormatic Electronics Corporation||Randomized tag to portal communication system|
|US4498076 *||May 10, 1982||Feb 5, 1985||Lichtblau G J||Resonant tag and deactivator for use in an electronic security system|
|US4525713 *||Mar 1, 1983||Jun 25, 1985||Lockheed Electronics Co., Inc.||Electronic tag identification system|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4797819 *||Aug 28, 1985||Jan 10, 1989||Societe Vynex Sa||System for determining replenishment needs on a product display by measuring vacant space|
|US4827395 *||Apr 6, 1987||May 2, 1989||Intelli-Tech Corporation||Manufacturing monitoring and control systems|
|US4973952 *||Sep 21, 1987||Nov 27, 1990||Information Resources, Inc.||Shopping cart display system|
|US5005125 *||Feb 28, 1986||Apr 2, 1991||Sensormatic Electronics Corporation||Surveillance, pricing and inventory system|
|US5006996 *||Mar 20, 1989||Apr 9, 1991||Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.||System of conveying, storing, retrieving and distributing articles of manufacture|
|US5099226 *||Jan 18, 1991||Mar 24, 1992||Interamerican Industrial Company||Intelligent security system|
|US5204657 *||May 28, 1991||Apr 20, 1993||Impact Products Corporation||Locating device|
|US5221831 *||Nov 29, 1991||Jun 22, 1993||Indala Corporation||Flap-type portal reader|
|US5239167 *||Apr 30, 1991||Aug 24, 1993||Ludwig Kipp||Checkout system|
|US5260694 *||Jan 10, 1992||Nov 9, 1993||Ndc Automation, Inc.||Automatic article tracking system for manually operated delivery system|
|US5309351 *||Sep 2, 1992||May 3, 1994||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Communications, information, maintenance diagnostic and training system|
|US5359323 *||Aug 20, 1991||Oct 25, 1994||France Telecom (Centre National D-Etudes Des Telecommunications)||Device for remote dialog between a station and one or more portable objects|
|US5379229 *||Jun 18, 1992||Jan 3, 1995||Communications Test Design, Inc.||Automated storage and retrieval system|
|US5407050 *||Mar 16, 1992||Apr 18, 1995||Kabushiki Kaisha Ace Denken||Article control system|
|US5442343 *||Jun 21, 1993||Aug 15, 1995||International Business Machines Corporation||Ultrasonic shelf label method and apparatus|
|US5461371 *||Nov 4, 1992||Oct 24, 1995||Pioneer Electronic Corporation||Exhibit explaining system activated by infrared signals|
|US5519381 *||Nov 18, 1993||May 21, 1996||British Technology Group Limited||Detection of multiple articles|
|US5565858 *||Sep 14, 1994||Oct 15, 1996||Northrop Grumman Corporation||Electronic inventory system for stacked containers|
|US5640151 *||Nov 8, 1993||Jun 17, 1997||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Communication system for communicating with tags|
|US5664113 *||Dec 10, 1993||Sep 2, 1997||Motorola, Inc.||Working asset management system and method|
|US5673037 *||Sep 9, 1994||Sep 30, 1997||International Business Machines Corporation||System and method for radio frequency tag group select|
|US5726630 *||Dec 29, 1995||Mar 10, 1998||British Technology Group Limited||Detection of multiple articles|
|US5777561 *||Sep 30, 1996||Jul 7, 1998||International Business Machines Corporation||Method of grouping RF transponders|
|US5786764 *||Mar 4, 1997||Jul 28, 1998||Engellenner; Thomas J.||Voice activated electronic locating systems|
|US5798693 *||Jun 7, 1995||Aug 25, 1998||Engellenner; Thomas J.||Electronic locating systems|
|US5821525 *||Aug 2, 1995||Oct 13, 1998||Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha||Reader/writer for use with non-contact IC card and reader/writer system|
|US5828318 *||May 8, 1996||Oct 27, 1998||International Business Machines Corporation||System and method for selecting a subset of autonomous and independent slave entities|
|US5872520 *||Oct 24, 1996||Feb 16, 1999||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Identification and/or sensor system|
|US5910776 *||Dec 4, 1996||Jun 8, 1999||Id Technologies, Inc.||Method and apparatus for identifying locating or monitoring equipment or other objects|
|US5959568 *||Jun 26, 1996||Sep 28, 1999||Par Goverment Systems Corporation||Measuring distance|
|US5995017 *||Nov 24, 1997||Nov 30, 1999||Btg International Limited||Electronic identification system confirming valid code|
|US5995019 *||Jul 6, 1998||Nov 30, 1999||Intermec I.P. Corp||Method for communicating with RF transponders|
|US6057756 *||Aug 14, 1998||May 2, 2000||Engellenner; Thomas J.||Electronic locating systems|
|US6076023 *||Dec 24, 1996||Jun 13, 2000||Fujitsu Limited||Physical distribution storage system|
|US6128549 *||Jun 15, 1998||Oct 3, 2000||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||RF interrogatable processing system|
|US6154137 *||Jun 8, 1998||Nov 28, 2000||3M Innovative Properties Company||Identification tag with enhanced security|
|US6232870 *||Aug 5, 1999||May 15, 2001||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US6335686||Aug 5, 1999||Jan 1, 2002||3M Innovative Properties Company||Application for a radio frequency identification system|
|US6388569 *||May 2, 2000||May 14, 2002||Thomas J. Engellenner||Electronic locating methods|
|US6405102 *||Aug 11, 2000||Jun 11, 2002||Symbol Technologies, Inc.||RF-interrogatable processing system|
|US6471878||Jun 9, 1999||Oct 29, 2002||Gordion Holding Corporation||Method for forming a radio frequency responsive target and apparatus for verifying the authenticity of same|
|US6600420||Jul 19, 2001||Jul 29, 2003||3M Innovative Properties Company||Application for a radio frequency identification system|
|US6606025||Sep 28, 1998||Aug 12, 2003||Motorola, Inc.||Synchronous demodulator|
|US6646554||Aug 14, 2000||Nov 11, 2003||3M Innovative Properties Company||Identification tag with enhanced security|
|US6705522||Oct 3, 2001||Mar 16, 2004||Accenture Global Services, Gmbh||Mobile object tracker|
|US6758393 *||Sep 11, 2000||Jul 6, 2004||Sierra Design Group||Mobile cashier terminal|
|US6812852||Oct 27, 1998||Nov 2, 2004||Intermac Ip Corp.||System and method for selecting a subset of autonomous and independent slave entities|
|US6814284 *||Feb 4, 2003||Nov 9, 2004||Raytheon Company||Enhancement antenna for article identification|
|US6817522 *||Jan 24, 2003||Nov 16, 2004||Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.||System and method for distributed storage management|
|US6825766||Dec 21, 2001||Nov 30, 2004||Genei Industries, Inc.||Industrial data capture system including a choke point portal and tracking software for radio frequency identification of cargo|
|US6873881||Aug 30, 2001||Mar 29, 2005||Seth R. Schneible, Sr.||Automated paperless order selection system|
|US6879246 *||May 11, 2001||Apr 12, 2005||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Evaluation of the number of electromagnetic transponders in the field of a reader|
|US6891469 *||May 14, 2002||May 10, 2005||Thomas J. Engellenner||Electronic locating systems|
|US6927692||Sep 5, 2002||Aug 9, 2005||American Greetings Corporation||RF inventory system|
|US6954072 *||Aug 22, 2002||Oct 11, 2005||Seba Dynatronic Messund Ortungstechnik Gmbh||Procedure and device for radiating and detecting the plurality of frequencies of electronic markers|
|US6960985||Jan 26, 2001||Nov 1, 2005||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Adaptation of the transmission power of an electromagnetic transponder reader|
|US6997388 *||Feb 19, 2003||Feb 14, 2006||Inksure Rf Inc.||Radio frequency data carrier and method and system for reading data stored in the data carrier|
|US7005967||May 11, 2001||Feb 28, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of an amplitude demodulation reader|
|US7017799||Dec 4, 2001||Mar 28, 2006||The Gates Corporation||Spindle sleeve with transponder|
|US7023391||May 17, 2001||Apr 4, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Electromagnetic field generation antenna for a transponder|
|US7044373||Aug 5, 1999||May 16, 2006||3M Innovative Properties Company||Radio frequency identification systems applications|
|US7046121||Aug 9, 2001||May 16, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Detection of an electric signature of an electromagnetic transponder|
|US7046146||May 17, 2001||May 16, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Electromagnetic field generation device for a transponder|
|US7049935||Jul 13, 2000||May 23, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Sizing of an electromagnetic transponder system for a dedicated distant coupling operation|
|US7049936 *||May 11, 2001||May 23, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of a reader|
|US7058357||Jul 13, 2000||Jun 6, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Sizing of an electromagnetic transponder system for an operation in extreme proximity|
|US7107008||May 11, 2001||Sep 12, 2006||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of a phase demodulation reader|
|US7113094||Dec 1, 2005||Sep 26, 2006||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US7118036 *||Jun 22, 2004||Oct 10, 2006||Ncr Corporation||Mobile inventory management system|
|US7123129 *||Mar 18, 2003||Oct 17, 2006||Intermec Ip Corp.||Modulation of the resonant frequency of a circuit using an energy field|
|US7123151 *||Apr 20, 2004||Oct 17, 2006||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US7151979||Nov 26, 2002||Dec 19, 2006||International Paper Company||System and method for tracking inventory|
|US7158046 *||Nov 2, 2004||Jan 2, 2007||Intermec Ip Corp.||System and method for radio frequency tag group select|
|US7263330 *||Oct 27, 2005||Aug 28, 2007||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of a phase demodulation reader|
|US7270268||Apr 5, 2006||Sep 18, 2007||3M Innovative Properties Company||Radio frequency identification systems applications|
|US7321296 *||May 9, 2005||Jan 22, 2008||Thomas J. Engellenner||Electronic locating systems|
|US7321308||Sep 1, 2005||Jan 22, 2008||Display Technologies, Inc.||Anti-theft holder|
|US7340400||Dec 12, 2003||Mar 4, 2008||Performance Analytics, Inc.||Vehicle activity module|
|US7388488||Sep 30, 2004||Jun 17, 2008||Peter Lupoli||Method and system for storing, retrieving, and managing data for tags|
|US7392948||Jul 28, 2005||Jul 1, 2008||Industrial Technology Research Institute||Electronic product identifier system|
|US7471205||Aug 24, 2006||Dec 30, 2008||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US7588185||Jun 7, 2001||Sep 15, 2009||3M Innovative Properties Company||RFID data collection and use|
|US7605705 *||Aug 22, 2006||Oct 20, 2009||International Business Machines Corporation||Method and apparatus for tracking or identifying items in a set|
|US7616094||Jul 26, 2004||Nov 10, 2009||Intermec Ip Corp.||Radio frequency identification system with write broadcast capability|
|US7619529||May 8, 2003||Nov 17, 2009||3M Innovative Properties Company||Application for a radio frequency identification system|
|US7620475 *||Sep 8, 2000||Nov 17, 2009||Datalogic, S.P.A.||Dispensing device of portable terminals for acquiring product data in a shopping centre, integrated system for dispensing said portable terminals, and integrated system for selling products through the use of portable terminals|
|US7633378||Dec 15, 2005||Dec 15, 2009||Rf Code, Inc.||Object identification system with adaptive transceivers and methods of operation|
|US7688207||Jul 28, 2006||Mar 30, 2010||Abbott Laboratories Inc.||System for tracking vessels in automated laboratory analyzers by radio frequency identification|
|US7699226||Jul 28, 2005||Apr 20, 2010||Industrial Technology Research Institute||Automatic plan-o-gram system|
|US7728732||Dec 23, 2008||Jun 1, 2010||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US7818088||Oct 19, 2005||Oct 19, 2010||Rush Tracking Systems, Llc||System and method for tracking inventory|
|US7830262 *||Jun 4, 2008||Nov 9, 2010||Impinj, Inc.||Adjusting communication parameters while inventorying RFID tags|
|US7849721||Sep 12, 2005||Dec 14, 2010||Hy-Ko Products Company||Radio frequency identification (RFID) system for manufacturing distribution and retailing of keys|
|US7902971||Jan 18, 2008||Mar 8, 2011||Xalotroff Fund V, Limtied Liability Company||Electronic locating systems|
|US7949541||Feb 8, 2007||May 24, 2011||Performance Analytics, Inc.||Vehicle activity module|
|US7956742||Jan 24, 2007||Jun 7, 2011||Motedata Inc.||Method and system for storing, retrieving, and managing data for tags|
|US7978060||Feb 13, 2006||Jul 12, 2011||Inteligistics, Inc.||Identification system|
|US8006902||Aug 15, 2007||Aug 30, 2011||3M Innovative Properties Company||Radio frequency identification systems applications|
|US8070062 *||Feb 21, 2008||Dec 6, 2011||Altierre Corporation||Method and system for detecting the presence of a customer proximate to a wireless display tag|
|US8130159||Sep 15, 2009||Mar 6, 2012||Stmicroelectronics S.A.||Electromagnetic field generation antenna for a transponder|
|US8295974||Sep 16, 2010||Oct 23, 2012||Rush Tracking Systems, Llc||System and method for tracking inventory|
|US8321302||Jan 23, 2003||Nov 27, 2012||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC||Inventory management system|
|US8414471||Oct 28, 2009||Apr 9, 2013||Mobile Aspects, Inc.||Endoscope storage cabinet, tracking system, and signal emitting member|
|US8502673||Mar 25, 2010||Aug 6, 2013||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US8547203||Jun 13, 2011||Oct 1, 2013||Mobile Aspects||Dynamic control containment unit|
|US8558668||May 23, 2008||Oct 15, 2013||Motedata Inc.||Method and system for storing, retrieving, and managing data for tags|
|US8606589||Dec 19, 2012||Dec 10, 2013||Sentrilock, Llc||Vehicle activity module|
|US8648699||Jul 19, 2010||Feb 11, 2014||Mobile Aspects, Inc.||Item tracking system and arrangement|
|US8730044||Nov 20, 2012||May 20, 2014||Tyco Fire & Security Gmbh||Method of assigning and deducing the location of articles detected by multiple RFID antennae|
|US8774960||Oct 22, 2012||Jul 8, 2014||Totaltrax, Inc.||System and method for tracking inventory|
|US8814044 *||Aug 1, 2012||Aug 26, 2014||Wistron Corp.||Intellectual material object management method and system|
|US8870056||Mar 23, 2011||Oct 28, 2014||Altierre Corporation||Multi-use wireless display tag infrastructure and methods|
|US8901942||May 11, 2012||Dec 2, 2014||Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Ag||System for locating and identifying at least two separate items|
|US8992416||Mar 11, 2013||Mar 31, 2015||Mobile Aspects, Inc.||Endoscope storage cabinet, tracking system, and signal emitting member|
|US20010015697 *||Jan 26, 2001||Aug 23, 2001||Luc Wuidart||Adaptation of the transmission power of an electromagnetic transponder reader|
|US20020003498 *||May 17, 2001||Jan 10, 2002||Luc Wuidart||Electromagnetic field generation antenna for a transponder|
|US20020008611 *||May 11, 2001||Jan 24, 2002||Luc Wuidart||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of an amplitude demodulation reader|
|US20020008612 *||May 11, 2001||Jan 24, 2002||Luc Wuidart||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of a phase demodulation reader|
|US20020011922 *||May 11, 2001||Jan 31, 2002||Luc Wuidart||Validation of the presence of an electromagnetic transponder in the field of a reader|
|US20020017991 *||May 17, 2001||Feb 14, 2002||Luc Wuidart||Electromagnetic field generation device for a transponder|
|US20020021207 *||May 11, 2001||Feb 21, 2002||Luc Wuidart||Evaluation of the number of electromagnetic transponders in the field of a reader|
|US20040069851 *||Mar 13, 2001||Apr 15, 2004||Grunes Mitchell B.||Radio frequency identification reader with removable media|
|US20040102870 *||Feb 19, 2003||May 27, 2004||Andersen Scott Paul||RFID enabled paper rolls and system and method for tracking inventory|
|US20040128159 *||Dec 12, 2003||Jul 1, 2004||Mcginn Dennis||Vehicle activity module|
|US20040144842 *||Jan 24, 2003||Jul 29, 2004||Cyril Brignone||System and method for distributed storage management|
|US20040159708 *||Feb 19, 2003||Aug 19, 2004||Inksure Inc.||Radio frequency data carrier and method and system for reading data stored in the data carrier|
|US20040201479 *||Apr 20, 2004||Oct 14, 2004||3M Innovative Properties Company||Applications for radio frequency identification systems|
|US20050088286 *||Jul 26, 2004||Apr 28, 2005||Heinrich Harley K.||Radio frequency identification system with write broadcast capability|
|US20050088305 *||Oct 22, 2003||Apr 28, 2005||Mobile Aspects||Identification apparatus|
|US20050092823 *||Sep 30, 2004||May 5, 2005||Peter Lupoli||Method and system for storing, retrieving, and managing data for tags|
|US20050168348 *||Nov 2, 2004||Aug 4, 2005||Cesar Christian L.||System and method for radio frequency tag group select|
|US20050190072 *||Feb 26, 2004||Sep 1, 2005||Brown Katherine A.||Item monitoring system and methods of using an item monitoring system|
|US20050206523 *||May 9, 2005||Sep 22, 2005||Engellenner Thomas J||Electronic locating systems|
|US20050270159 *||Jun 18, 2005||Dec 8, 2005||Brady Michael J||Combination radio frequency identification transponder (RFID Tag) and magnetic electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag|
|US20120228240 *||Mar 8, 2012||Sep 13, 2012||T-Ink, Llc||Intelligent Display And Fixture System|
|US20130248597 *||Aug 1, 2012||Sep 26, 2013||Wistron Corp.||Intellectual material object management method and system|
|US20130278393 *||Apr 20, 2012||Oct 24, 2013||Honeywell International Inc. Doing Business As (D.B.A.) Honeywell Scanning And Mobility||Portable encoded information reading terminal configured to locate groups of rfid tags|
|USRE36109 *||Jul 12, 1995||Feb 23, 1999||Kipp; Ludwig||Checkout system|
|EP1923823A2||Sep 12, 2005||May 21, 2008||Hy-Ko Products Company||Radio frequency identification (RFID) system for manufacturing, distribution and retailing of keys|
|WO1997049972A2 *||Jun 26, 1997||Dec 31, 1997||Par Government Systems Corp||Measuring distance|
|WO1999018659A1 *||Sep 28, 1998||Apr 15, 1999||Motorola Inc||Synchronous demodulator|
|WO2003030080A1 *||Oct 3, 2002||Apr 10, 2003||Accenture Global Services Gmbh||Mobile object tracker|
|WO2004008387A1 *||Jul 14, 2003||Jan 22, 2004||Battelle Memorial Institute||System for tracking medical devices|
|U.S. Classification||340/10.32, 340/10.42, 235/385, 340/5.92, 700/215|
|International Classification||G06Q10/08, G06F17/40, G01S13/75, B65G1/04, B65G1/137, G06K7/10, G06K19/067, B65G1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G06K7/10009, G06Q10/087, G06K19/0672, G01S13/753|
|European Classification||G06Q10/087, G06K7/10A, G06K19/067Q, G01S13/75C2|
|Dec 29, 1983||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: REVLON INC., 767 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10153
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF 1/2 OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:EKCHIAN, JACK A.;HOFFMAN, ROBERT W.;EKCHIAN, LEON;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:004214/0519;SIGNING DATES FROM 19831220 TO 19831228
|Dec 3, 1990||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jun 29, 1992||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: REVLON CONSUMER PRODUCTS CORPORATION, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:REVLON, INC., A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:006163/0579
Effective date: 19920624
|Jan 24, 1995||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jun 18, 1995||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Aug 29, 1995||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 19950621